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Classic Christmas Specials 2014

Updated on January 3, 2014
Get into the Christmas spirit with these classic movies.
Get into the Christmas spirit with these classic movies. | Source

Every year, right after the Halloween decorations are packed away, the anticipation for that most wonderful time of year is palpable. Since the dawn of television, Christmas specials have been a part of the many holiday traditions that make this time of year so special.

There are some classics that can't be missed. They provide joy year after year and make even those feeling a bit like a Scrooge--smile, laugh and even cry.

Here are some of the seasonal favorites that can't be missed along with a review of some of the best Christmas movies and TV specials of all time.

2014 Christmas Specials List

The list of classic 2014 Christmas specials is not out for the season yet. Check back for updates as the TV listings become available.

Here is a look back at the specials that were on this past Christmas and their stations and air times.

2013 Season Christmas Specials

The 2013 season will bring many of our old favorites to the small screen along with some new ones to add to the bunch.

While I don't cover all the Christmas specials, there are those that have stood the test of time. Others are so moving and beautiful that they become classics almost overnight.

The list below contains some of the best Christmas movies and specials of all time. You can easily sort by column, date, or even network. So plan an evening in, turn on the TV while you're wrapping or play one in the background during your holiday party.

List of Class Christmas Movies and Specials 2013

(click column header to sort results)
Christmas Special  
Air Date  
Network  
Time (Check Local Listing)  
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
November 26
CBS
8 PM
Frosty the Snowman
December 6
CBS
8 PM
White Christmas
December 13
AMC
7 PM
Holiday Inn
December 12
Retro
5:20-7:05 AM
A Charlie Brown Christmas
December 2
ABC
8 PM
The Bishop's Wife
December 5
Hallmark Movie Channel
8:30 PM
It's a Wonderful Life
December 24
NBC
8 PM
Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas
December 1, December 14, December 15
ABC Family
7 AM/ 10 AM/ 7:30 AM
Christmas in Connecticut
December 24
TCM
8 PM EST
Miracle on 34th Street
Updated Soon!
AMC
Updated Soon!
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
December 7, December 9, December 10, December 19, December 20. December 22
ABC Family
4:30 PM/ 8 PM/ 6:30 PM/ 8:30 PM/ 6:30 PM/ 7 and 9:30 PM
Santa Claus is Comin' To Town
December 10, December 21, December 22, December 23, December 25
ABC Family
10 PM/ 2:30 PM/ 8 AM/ 6 PM/ 8:30 AM
Smoky Mountain Christmas
Updated Soon!
Updated Soon!
Updated Soon!
Polar Express
December 1, December 5, December 17, December 18, December 23, December 24
ABC Family
5 PM/ 7 PM/ 9 PM/ 5 PM/ 10 PM/ 1 PM
Home Alone
December 8
AMC
8 PM
National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
December 3, December 4, December 11, December 12, December 15, December 20, December 21, December 25
ABC Family
10 PM/ 8 PM/ 9 PM/ 7 PM/ 8 PM/ 9 PM/ 4 PM/ Midnight and 1 PM and 9 PM
Elf
November 17
ENC
8:20 AM
The Shop Around the Corner
December 22
TCM
8 PM
A Christmas Carol (Albert Finney)
December 8
TCM
2 PM
A Christmas Story
December 25
TBS
All Day
Scrooged
December 3, December 4, December 12, December 15, December 24
ABC Family
8 PM/ 6 PM/ 9 PM/ 10 PM/ Midnight and 11 AM
Nightmare Before Christmas
October 28
ABC Family
9:25 PM
These are Christmas specials that many families look for and enjoy year after year.
Just click the column to sort the results.

The Absolute Best Christmas Movies of All Times

There are many great Christmas movies and more get made every year. Hallmark Channel and ABC often create new, made-for-TV movies that are heartwarming and beautiful.

But there are those movies that have stood the test of time and have become so much a part of our holidays that we wouldn't consider not adding them to our long to-do list during this busy time of year.

Here are what I consider the absolute essentials that everyone should watch, cherish and remember.

It's a Wonderful Life is one of the best Christmas Movies of all time.
It's a Wonderful Life is one of the best Christmas Movies of all time. | Source

It's A Wonderful Life

It's sappy and cheesy and over-the-top with it's glass half-full message of hope, love and the importance of family---and we love it. If your heart doesn't hurt as George Bailey runs through the empty streets of "Pottersville" searching for his wife or delight in the simplicity of Clarence, George's guardian angel, then maybe you should consider just hiding under your covers until the new year.

This movie's simple message--that we all matter to someone--is still just as true today as it was almost 70 years ago. There's magic and love fighting greed and hate. And as the town rallies around George during his time of need, everyone learns that if we all work together, then endurance and unity will win over greed and riches.

Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye notice their love interests in White Christmas.
Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye notice their love interests in White Christmas. | Source

White Christmas

This movie's breathtaking color, beautiful scenes and memorable songs make it a must-see during the holiday season. No Christmas season is complete without hearing Bing Crosby's sonorous voice caress the words to "White Christmas."

Although the song was originally in the movie "Holiday Inn," another great classic, it is in the movie with its namesake that many of today's audiences first became familiar with it. Other great songs such as "Count Your Blessings" and "Sisters" will stick in your head long after the movie has finished.

While the plot may be a little uneven at times, the talented foursome of Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera Ellen and Rosemary Clooney, bring it all together to it's beautiful and memorable conclusion.

Geisel draws some of the art for "How The Grinch Stole Christmas"
Geisel draws some of the art for "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" | Source

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

How can your heart not grow at least a couple of sizes when watching the screen adaptation of Dr. Seuss's much loved "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." In less than 30 minutes, this Christmas special manages to tell a story about love and redemption and forgiveness better than some films attempt to do in several hours.

As the Grinch realizes that he can steal everything but the Who's happiness, we also absorb the message of happiness--that it comes from within. If we are secure in our selves it can't be bought, sold or stolen.

While books to film often leave out some of the magic, this holiday classic manages to capture the essence of the book and gives us some beautiful songs as well. It's definitely a special the whole family will enjoy.

Natalie Wood was unforgettable in "Miracle on 34th Street."
Natalie Wood was unforgettable in "Miracle on 34th Street." | Source

Miracle on 34th Street

While this movie has been remade, I'm still fond of the Maureen O'Hara and Natalie Wood version of the film. The busy, no-nonsense mother and the child who had to grow up too quickly are all themes that are still related to today in our modern world. The message of stopping, letting go, loving and believing in magic are all a part of the themes of the holiday season.

As both the mother and daughter rediscover each other, their own lost innocence, time stands still for a moment.

The slow realizations that the idea of Santa, his magic and his love doesn't have to be shed once we are grown brings the movie to a triumphant end and lets us all know that this is the time of year when it is okay to return to that innocence and just be a kid again.

A Christmas Story

While it's a little newer than the rest of the movies I consider to be absolute musts, A Christmas Story has definitely become a part of many families' holiday viewing. In this gem of a film we see bullies, family dynamics being tested, laughter, fights, tears and love.

This movie peels back the layers of family life and shows the ups and downs of growing up and trying to figure it all out. And in the end, making the best of a bad situation is really what it is all about.

While its humor is irreverent and over the top in places, it still manages to portray a heart-warming message about growing up, about being a kid at Christmas and about having family to love and support you along the way.

It's the perfect movie.

There are so many great holiday traditions this time of year. From baking, to shopping, to parties, we are often busy and exhausted as Christmas gets closer. This gives you the perfect excuse to curl up on the sofa with a warm blanket and relax as you watch some of the best Christmas movies of all time.

While many of these films could be enjoyed throughout the year, there is just something about watching them during the holidays. We all need their feel-good messages of hope and love. That's really what it's all about.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

See results

Have A Christmas Special You Think Should Go on the List? Know of an update to a time or listing? Leave a comment!

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    • nArchuleta profile image

      Nadia Archuleta 3 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      I have some random Christmas specials -- including one from "Amazing Stories" -- that I like to watch every year. One of my faves is "Santa Clause." Cheesy, I know, but I like it!